Flash on a budget: Yongnuo YN560

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Off Camera Ligthing on a Budget: YongNuo YN560 


YongNuo YN560 Flash 

    This article is to review, and give some information on YongNuo's YN560. This is their third flash system (460, 460II, 560) with each one surpassing the last. Let's start with the documented information, the stuff they put on fliers and ads, then get into practical use after the break. 

-Zoom range: 24mm-105mm
-GN: 58 @ ISO 100 @ 105mm zoom
-Full power to 1/128 in full and 1/8 steps
-Trigger modes: Manual, S1, S2
    Manual syncs via hotshoe (on camera, no ttl, or RF trigger) or PC (non locking)
    S1 is standard optical trigger
    S2 is optical trigger with pre-flash suppression
-External battery pack port.
-3 second recharge (this is what they say, tho with NiMH / NiZN, much faster 1.5 - 2)
-Supports 8fps shooting at 1/8 power or lower.
-Power saving mode
-Overheating shutdown (I will not be testing this. Tho from what I've read, 10 full power shots, @ 2 -sec recharge will trigger this mode, easily manageable, IMO)
-Settings saved even after power shutdown.

First impression:
Feels very solid. Maybe a touch less than the flagship namebrand flashes. Gotta read the manual to figure out how to set power and in-between steps, set beep and power save modes, etc., but it's not rocket surgery, and easy to understand, once you play for a minute. The flashes look great, and won't be ashamed to show up to a big shoot with these.

Slave and Sync
So far I've tested the PC, Optical, Optical with flash suppression and (on camera) Hotshoe syncs.
    Optical slave mode works as intended, with good range. I had one flash set on my car, and walked down the street. With the flash in my hand set at 105mm and full power, I could trigger the slave at 120ish yards (I just paced it out, but a good distance) ¼ power 95ish yards, 1/16 85ish yards (again, paced out, but a good distance)
    I tested S2 mode, optical with pre-flash suppression. The only flash I could test this with was my onboard flash from my Canon 40D. The onboard triggered the slave at 40 feet (across kitchen into living room) It also triggered at 45 degrees at the same distance, as well as 20 feet, fired in the opposite direction. Both optical modes are robust, and sensitive enough to be very useful.

Practical Power
Guid Number of 58 is kinda vanity for how most of us here will use these flashes. Sure for sports, and other things, where you can set to 105mm, that much power is useful, but used in modifiers, set to 24 or 35mm zoom, the power is less, and if other reviews that say they metered f29 @ 10 feet, it's less of a practical explanation for us. I set the flash in a 36" Westcott silver umbrella, with the zoom set to 28mm to fill it. At ISO 100, full power 6 feet, (so 8' or so, flash to umbrella, to subject) I got a well exposed subject at f11. In other words... It's got some respectable juice, and, so dropping to ISO 400, ¼ power for battery life and speed, you've still got plenty of light, and more if you need distance.

Being pretty much a 580EXII clone, most 3rd party modifiers eg. Snoots, grids, beauty dishes, etc, will fit. Both mine actually came with a sto fen omnibounce diffuser. Bonus!


At this price-point, it's below my personal "get the warranty" level. However... the manufacturer offers a one year repair/replacement warranty. I got mine for $73, the manufacturer charges $86 on their ebay page (both with free shipping.) Cheap enough that it's easy enough to warrant getting a warranty, but $15 more + $20 for shipping to get it back just put it just barely in the "I'll risk it" department.

hkyongnuophotoequipment (14264 seller rating, 99.7% pos) - one year warranty.

All this for $73-$86???  Personal opinion: Hells yes, get these. They have everything you need, and for those who shoot all manual, nothing you don't. Perfect location kit flashes.

I'll be putting up more information as i put them through their paces over the next few weeks, add to the information above, as well as testing what you guys ask of me.